DENVER - For all of the fascinating aspects of a Colorado Rockies team, with historically-high expectations and a remarkably unusual start to the 2018 campaign, the most famous—or infamous—moments from this season have been the high-profile hit batsmen.
Emotions boiled over in their series finale with the San Diego Padres, who are back in town, when Luis Perdomo threw one behind Nolan Arenado and a brawl ensued. Emotions boiled to the surface (but not over) in another series finale against the Chicago Cubs when both Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo were beaned.
This has led to a series of questions about whether or not any of this has been intentional and even if the nature of some of these beanballs could lead to a reputation for the Rockies that could, or should, lead to retribution.
I tend to doubt a "bad boys" moniker can truly percolate around a mostly mild-mannered group of individuals who have been uncharacteristically involved in their fair share of heated moments. Also, understanding that the health of those who play the game should always be priority number one, it's clear when taken in context that none of the individual HBPs were on purpose, but rather as the result of some wildness from a young staff.
So I asked manager Bud Black about what his pitchers, who have already had trouble gaining a rhythm in the early going, can do to ignore all the noise and stick to their gameplan.